The Ferryman by Justin Cronin
5/2/23; 560 pages
The Ferryman by Justin Cronin is a very highly recommended dystopian/speculative science fiction marvel.
The idyllic archipelago of Prospera is a socially regimented island state founded by the Designer. Citizens enjoy long fulfilling lives until their next “iteration,” where their personalities reemerge in younger bodies. Proctor Bennett works as a ferryman, which means he assists aging Prosperans to travel to the Nursery, an island where their bodies are restored. All citizens have monitors embedded in their forearms which measures their health. If it fails below 10 percent, it is time to retire.
Proctor has always had problems with dreaming, which is not supposed
to happen, but now his monitor percentage has been dropping too. When he
is called to retire his own father, events go amiss and he receives an
enigmatic message from him before getting him onto the ferry. At the
same time the support staff for Prospera who all live on the island
called the Annex, are now becoming disgruntled and a resistance group
known as Arrivalists is growing.
At this point hold on tight, set expectations aside, and keep reading
because so many unexpected twists and events happen one after another
that it is pointless to predict anything. This will be easy to do
because the quality of the writing is exceptional and the plot is
fast-paced and riveting. Cronin is in perfect control of the plot and
his characters so just keep reading. I promise you that the pages are
going to fly-by quickly.
The excellent writing will be the first plus you notice as you begin
reading. The prose is simply phenomenal. This will quickly be followed
by the awareness that the characters are fully realized and believable
individuals with strengths and flaws who are firmly part of the
narrative. Then the twists begin and new information is revealed. Follow
the prose and plot carefully and, even when you think you don't know
what is going on, you soon will understand that you do before the next
No spoilers here. If you like science fiction and literary fiction, just read The Ferryman and thank me later. It's sure to be on my list of best of 2023.